Sammy Wamuri: The Kibera Man Splashing Ksh1.8M on Fashion

  • A majority of Kenyans, despite their financial background, envision leading a life of opulence and imitate the lifestyles of superstars.

    In the case of Sammy Wamuri, a Kibera native, he exhibits this type of lifestyle, donning only designer clothes worth Ksh1.8 million.

    Speaking to Citizen Digital, the flamboyant Kenyan christened himself as the only Sapeur in the country – a French word which translates to the society of tastemakers and elegant people. 

    Sammy Wamuri's designer shoes collection.

    Sammy Wamuri’s designer shoes collection.

    Citizen Digital

    Detailing how his swanky lifestyle began, the 58-year-old reminisced the vital role his father played in his new persona. 

    “What inspired me is my dad who bought me an oversize trouser that I had to tie my waste with a rope for almost six years. After all those years, the trouser could not fit me and I noted that once I get my first job, I would dress fashionably,” the Utalii College graduate stated. 

    Further, Wamuri derived inspiration from Rhumba, particularly from the late Lingala extraordinaire Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, popularly known as Papa Wemba. From the elegant hats to the brightly coloured shirts, Wamuri lauded the Lingala musician for embodying a distinct sense of fashion. 

    Wamuri, however, noted that maintaining the lavish lifestyle had its drawbacks, pointing out the numerous sacrifices he has had to make in order to exude the Sapeur lifestyle. 

    “It’s an expensive lifestyle in the sense that you have to deny yourself a lot of things. We go hungry many times in order to get what we want,” he pointed noted. 

    According to Wamuri, in order to live the Sapeur lifestyle, one has to spend an average of Ksh800,000 – Ksh1.8 million. 

    “The people in my neighbourhood don’t understand my kind of dressing,” he added.

    Bragging about his sense of style, he noted that he imports clothes from countries such as France, Turkey, Italy and the United Kingdom. 

    The fashion industry has made milestones with a number of Kenyans going for different sets of clothes, with the popular being Mitumba. 

    Kenya is the third largest importer of the second-hand garments after Ghana and Benin, which are offered at a fraction of their manufacturing cost. Further, a number of Kenyans have been lauded for their unique invention in fashion.

    Recently, Shannyce Wambui, was lauded by Natwest Bank in the United Kingdom for coming up with a revolutionary hanger that is made entirely out of biodegradable material and can also be folded.

    The bank heaped praise for the innovation, noting that the efforts are made in producing products that are eco-friendly. 

    Unopened bales of second-hand clothes.

    Unopened bales of second-hand clothes.


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